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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19087

Title: Strategic Forest Management Planning Under Uncertainty Due to Fire
Authors: Savage, David William
Advisor: Martell, David Lee
Department: Forestry
Keywords: Forest Management
Linear Programming
Risk
Uncertainty
Simulation
Re-planning
Burn Fraction
Fire
Issue Date: 23-Feb-2010
Abstract: Forest managers throughout Canada must contend with natural disturbance processes that vary over both time and space when developing and implementing forest management plans designed to provide a range of economic, ecological, and social values. In this thesis, I develop a stochastic simulation model with an embedded linear programming (LP) model and use it to evaluate strategies for reducing uncertainty due to forest fires. My results showed that frequent re-planning was sufficient to reduce variability in harvest volume when the burn fraction was low, however, as the burn fraction increased above 0.45%, the best strategy to reduce variability in harvest volume was to account for fire explicitly in the planning process using Model III. A risk analysis tool was also developed to demonstrate a method for managers to improve decision making under uncertainty. The impact of fire on mature and old forest areas was examined and showed that LP forest management planning models reduce the areas of mature and old forest to the minimum required area and fire further reduces the seral area. As the burn fraction increased, the likelihood of the mature and old forest areas satisfying the minimum area requirements decreased. However, if the seral area constraint was strengthened (i.e., the right hand side of the constraint was increased) the likelihood improved. When the planning model was modified to maximize mature and old forest areas, the two fixed harvest volumes (i.e., 2.0 and 8.0 M. m3/decade) had much different impacts on the areas of mature and old forest when the burn fraction was greater than 0.45%. Bootstrapped burn fraction confidence intervals were used to examine the impact of uncertain burn fraction estimates when using Model III to develop harvest schedules. I found that harvest volume bounds were large when the burn fraction was ≥0.45%. I also examined how the uncertainty in natural burn fraction (i.e., estimates of pre-fire suppression average annual area burned) estimates being used for ecosystem management can impact old forest area requirements and the resulting timber supply.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19087
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Faculty of Forestry - Doctoral theses

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